Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle has collected a number of firsts in her 28 year career as a Pasadena police officer. One of her proudest moments was when she was sworn as an officer by Pasadena's first African American Mayor, Mayor Loretta Glickman in 1984.
During her career she has added becoming the first African American woman to reach the level of sergeant, and later Lieutenant. Being the first, she points out that she never wanted to be the only one. Her career has been an inspiration to those who have come behind her.
The Muir High School graduate was born in Brooklyn, New York. She moved to Altadena in 1968 where she has lived since. She completed her education, attending Pasadena City College and later earning a Bachelors from The University of Lavern and a Masters from Woodbury University.
Riddle married Edgar (Eddie) Riddle in 1978 and joined the Pasadena Police force six years later with encouragement from her father-in-Law, Ralph Riddle. They have three sons, Ralph, named after his grandfather, Ralph, Sr., Eric, and the youngest, Justin. Justin and Eric are athletic coaches at local schools. Ralph is a Marine Veteran who works in the movie Industry.
Ralph Riddle, Sr. is a legend in Pasadena. He overcame racial discrimination and became the first African American to join the Pasadena Police force. Today, as the senior lieutenant in the department, Lt. Phlunte Riddle stays busy serving as Adjunct for Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez. She somehow manages also to find time to be of service to her community in a number of ways. She serves as a mentor to teen age high schools students as well as serving as a Vice President of the Pasadena Chapter of the United Nations Association. When she is not busy with these organizations, she serves in a number of roles at her beloved church, The Abundant Harvest Christian Center, in Altadena.
On a broader level, Riddle, who plans to leave the Department in December, will continue working as a consultant. She will also continue her work as a commissioner for NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) and teaching law enforcement as an adjunct professor at a local University.
As she winds down her career, she says her greatest joy has been the pride she has found in serving the community as part of the brotherhood/sisterhood of officers where she has tried to be the best in serving her community.
Her greatest disappointment is that more minorities do not join law enforcement as a career. Her achievements at the department guarantee that the Riddle name will remain a legend in the history of Pasadena Law Enforcement.
Chief Sanchez said of his adjunctant, that she has performed extraordinarily in a number of roles at the department. From traffic, to investigations, to manager, she has been an asset that will be hard to replace. Her accomplishments have been even more exceptional when evaluated in the reality that she entered the department when females were a rarity and weren't necessarily welcome.